Halbfinger, a 20-year veteran of the Times, has served as a reporter for the metro, national and culture sections. He also covered John Kerry’s presidential run in 2004.
The Times’ announcement called the Israel post “one of the scrutinized (and most prestigious) jobs in journalism.”
“He has written hard-hitting investigations of corrupt public officials and businessmen, murderous prison guards, law-breaking Hollywood moguls, roamed his native Long Island, the Bronx, and eight states in the South, left a big mark in New Jersey, covered John Kerry’s presidential run and helped lead the politics team in New York,” Times International Editor Michael Slackman and Deputy International Editor Greg Winter said in the announcement of Halbfinger’s appointment.
On Twitter, Halbfinger said the new job was “A dream fulfilled.” He will begin work after Labor Day. His wife and three children will move to Jerusalem in August.
The family are members of Congregation Shomrei Emunah in Montclair, New Jersey. The synagogue is affiliated with the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism.
Halbfinger succeeds Ian Fisher, who took the position in January after Peter Baker, who had served there for less than a year, left to cover Donald Trump’s presidency in Washington, D.C. Fisher, who has been at the Times for 28 years, will spend the next year with his family in Italy, according to the newspaper.